As a young man, I didn't know much about graphic design. I still don't really, but I have learned over the years what I like and what I don't like. And I think that I began learning by looking at record sleeves. They were the bits of design that I pored over more than any other as a young 'un. Could spend hours looking at every little bit of an album cover.
A sleeve that bore a tDR design was always a treat. The first Nightmares On Wax album (above) sticks out in my mind, as do lots of late 80s/early 90s releases on Warp (all of the LFO stuff for starters). They were always interesting and clear, with a few hidden bits of magic where it was least expected. You actually looked forward to see what the next one would look like.
I saw Ian Anderson (founder) speak in London a few years ago and he seemed like an excellent man - full of ideas, fairly opinionated, a bit rude, but in a good way. There's more from him here. I was happy to read that he plans to revive tDR, as a place where great design is done. It would have been rubbish if an era-defining design house was wiped out just because they weren't that good at being an ad agency.
I was talking to my wife the other day, having that conversation where you discuss what you would most like to do in the world; what would you do if you could go back to being a teenager and choose some sort of dream career path for yourself?
For me it's fairly simple. I would be an astronomer. I would like to sit on a hilltop in Hawaii staring into deep space using a very powerful telescope. I would like to discover a new galaxy. I would like to understand quantum physics a little better.
So the news that this year is the International Year of Astronomy has bitten me quite hard. It's 400 years since Galileo Galilei first had a good look at the Moon through his monocular instrument. And still I dither.
But it's time to face up to it – if I am still to become the world's best astronomer, I had better get cracking.
So this year I will buy a telescope. I now live somewhere where the nights are dark enough for me to see interesting things in the sky. The telescope will get used. Perhaps it will be housed in the 'studio'.
If anyone knows anything about telescopes, please advise me as to what kind/make/type I should get. I've got a lot to learn and I will need help. But with your support I shall become a great astronomer.
The year is 1979 and Maggie is about to give Jim Callaghan a royal whupping. The BBC soundtrack this event with some weird whiny prog-lite. I quite like the sinister images made up of all those x's too.